A BUSINESSMAN who sparked a six-hour siege at a St Helens firm after strolling in with a fake bomb strapped to his body is now suing the company he targeted.
Jean Claude Rubagire caused chaos when he walked into the Prescot Road headquarters of chemical analysts Alfred H Knight in March 2009 with socks, underpants and transistor radios stuffed down his clothes.
About 200 staff were forced to flee the premises – the former Pilkington family home – while police declared a major incident and evacuated homes in the surrounding area.
Many residents were offered refuge nearby at West Park Rugby Club and Carmel College.
Paramedics, firefighters, trained negotiators and an army bomb disposal team were also called to the scene while police sealed off a lengthy stretch of the busy thoroughfare, between the junctions of Lugsmore Lane and Portico Lane.
Rubagire, a Rwandan entrepreneur who runs Iken Implex, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after he was convicted of a bomb hoax following a 12-day trial.
But, following his release from jail, he has since filed a law suit with the Queen’s Bench of the Royal Courts of Justice in London, demanding compensation over a business deal which he claims led to his actions.
During his trial, prosecutors told how said Rubagire had sold $600,000 worth of tantalite, which is used in mobile phones, to a London-based company and used Alfred H Knight’s offices in Africa to weigh, analyse and ship the goods.
But when the shipment arrived in Singapore, the minerals were found to be only 0.1 per cent pure.
Rubagire, who is being represented in his case by Islington solicitors Angel Law, claims that the business deal caused him “mental distress” and led to him being blacklisted in the minerals trade.
Bosses at Alfred H Knight, who have sent a letter of acknowledgement to the High Court, declined to comment.